Sean Claes photo

The 2009 Totally Austin Gift Guide
December INsite Magazine Cover Story

INsite December 2009 Original Artwork

By Sean Claes
Painting by Jennifer Ramirez Johnson. Photos by Sean Claes

Which kind of holiday shopper are you going to be this year? You could go the easy route and just get everyone a gas card. But I'm thinking that you're not that person. You'd like to put a little more thought into it. If so this is for you. Whether you need a quick gift for a company party, or that perfect something for that special woman or man in your life we've got you covered here.

INsite asked Austin-based artists and artisans to take part in the 2009 Totally Austin Gift Guide. All of the following items are made in Austin by Austinites and sold in local shops and online. Also, every one of these items cost less than $50.

So, when you're Christmas shopping this year, why not support Austin business and the people who actually make the stuff. Have a Totally Austin holiday.

We grouped these in different categories that made sense to us. We tried to give you the prices and where in Austin and online you can find these items. See the sidebar for business locations.

Totally Austin Gift Guide 6
Why not deck the walls and decorate the home with handmade goodies from the talented artists that live next door? Represented here are Jo Anna Ordonez of Vidriosa Glassworks (Christmas tree and longhorn glass hanging art found at The Lucky Lizard, Things She Adores, Old Town Gift Emporium (in Kyle) -, Muschi Crafts ("upcycled" wine bottle vase ($15) and hand-blown glass Christmas ornament ($25) found at Sunset Valley Farmer's Market -, and Sher "Essa" Chappell (Patron Saint wall hanging ($25) found at Old Town Gift Emporium in Kyle -

Totally Austin Gift Guide 3
Austin is close to your heart so give the gift of jewelry in the form of one of these amazing necklaces that will hang near their heart. There's something for every taste represented here. Choose from Kimberley Freeman (One Eyed Doll star necklace ($10) found at Secret Oktober and Parts and Labour), Lindsay Designs by Lindsay Field (colorful fused glass pendant ($28-$35) found at Austin Museum of Art Store, Blue Moon Glassworks, and Parts and Labour) Foxxy Fusions (Circle Pendant ($25 for the "Mini" (1"), $40 for the Small (1.5"), $45 for the Large (2") found at Lucky Lizard and Austin Museum of Art - -, Ornamental Things by Natalie Tischler (Bird and Locket Necklace found at Parts and Labour -, Stained Glass Creations by Terri McAshan (Fused dichroic leaf pendant found at Sol Reflections -, and maneki by Sarah Eastep (antique brass birds on antiqued brass chain ($36) found at Parts and Labour -

Hair Art and Wine Tags
Totally Austin Gift Guide 5
Initially this photo was set up as just hair clips, but we decided to throw in some beautiful wine tags to balance the photo out. Perhaps you can wear these wonderful pieces at a Christmas wine party. Swanky eh? Represented here is Foxxy Fusions (wine charms ($35) found at Lucky Lizard -, Marlo Adelle Accessories (feather hair clip found at Parts and Labour Boutique, Waterloo Records, Storyville, Suzi Ds, Strait Music, Terra Toys -, and Vinca (leather squirrel hair clips ($12) found at Parts and Labour, Capra & Cavelli and IF+D -

Cool Kids
Totally Austin Gift Guide 4
What could be cooler that getting something hand made in Austin for those little ones on your list? Represented here are Baby Bolt by Becka Spellman (Red Robot Crayon Roll ($18) found at Parts and Labour -, RePresent (reversible bib ($15) found at Parts and Labour, Austin Baby! Storyville, and Terra Toys -, and Kandle Kidswear by Kim Rodriguez and Laura Dooley (Armadillo shirt ($29) found at Parts & Labour, Wee, Emeralds, Sanctuary, Texas State History Museum, the State Capitol Gift Shop, Whole Foods Market (downtown), Prima Dora, Wanderland, Austin Baby, The Oasis Gift Shop, USA Baby, and Waterloo Records -

Visuals of Austin

Totally Austin Gift Guide 2
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here's a few thousand and a game to keep you even more entertained. Represented here are Austin Fun Stuff  (Austin 2010 Big Weekend Calendar ($14.97) found at 250+ places around town including most HEBs, Whole Foods, Central Market - Jann Alexander (Vanishing Austin 24"x36" poster found at AMOA store, Authenticity Gallery, Austin Visitors Center, Austin Fastframe, and Images of Austin - Dennis McClintock (Sunset at The Oasis ($45) found at The Oasis Gift Shop -, and Cityism by Keely Morgan with Creative Pickle and Amelia Stone (Cityism - Play Austin board game ($35-$39.99) found at Waterloo Records, Thai Fresh, O.Henry Museum, Spirit Shop at University of Texas (AT&T Executive Conference Center), and Sanctuary -

Band Swag
Totally Austin Gift Guide 7
We are Austin which means live music is ALWAYS appreciated. Why not send your sister in Boston some good band swag? Represented here are One Eyed Doll (, She Craves (, Allison Thrash (, Full Service ( 12/4 @ INsite Night at Stubb's, Jeff Lofton ( 12/5 The Annual Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll, Snake Skin Prison ( @ Dirty Dog Bar, 12/11 INsite Night @ Red Eyed Fly, Flatcar Rattlers (, The Stand Outs ( 1/4 Cedar Street Cortyard.

Odds and Ends
Totally Austin Gift Guide 1
Yes a photo for those things that just didn't seem to pair up with anything else on the guide. Represented here are Frenzy Art Studio - (Calavera Christmas tree tee ($20) found at Mexicarte, AMOA, Prima Dora, Botanica Oggun and Waterloo Records -, Runnur by Andrew Hamra (over-the-shoulder gadget strap ($34) found at Parts and Labour, Downstairs Apparel, Austin Bikes, Urban Moto, Vespa, Ozone Bikes, Whole Earth Provision Co. and The Gas Pipe -, Grafickle Tees (Austin Ambigram Tee [reads the same upside down... cool eh?] ($17.99) found at Lucky Lizard - Fish With Attitude by Mike Quinn (wall art fish ($16.99) found at Lucky Lizard -, and Muschi Crafts (Handmade Clutch ($20) found at Creatures Botique and hovercraft! -, Fleegal Farms Soapworks (all-natural soap ($5) found at Oasis Gift Shop, Crystal Works, Herb Bar, Artist Hair Studio, The Pure Water Stop and Peoples Pharmacy -

Drinkable Austin (the under 21 option)
Sweet Leaf Tea
Marsha Mann's "Better Than A Fruitcake" article in December's INsite Magazine gives you a good smattering of local alcoholic drinks, but we can't forget that we are the home of Sweet Leaf Tea (Original and Lemonade found at every self-respecting store where beverages are sold -

Special thanks to John Hawn of Old Town Gift Emporium, Lizelle Villapando of Parts and Labour, Steve Busti of Lucky Lizard Curios & Gifts and Jo Anna Ordonez of Vidriosa Glassworks for helping me reach out to all of these amazing artists. Also HUGE thanks to Jennifer Ramirez Johnson for the amazing cover art.

These are the addresses and Web sites for the businesses you'll find in our 2009 Totally Austin Gift Guide. Listed in alphabetical order.

Artist Hair Studio - 9911A Woodland Village Drive

Austin Baby! - 701 S Lamar Blvd (

Austin Bikes - 1213 W. 5th St (

Austin Fastframe - 9901 Capital of Texas Highway N #130, 5900 W Slaughter Ln, #470 (

Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) Store - 823 Congress Avenue (

Austin Visitors Center - 301 Congress Avenue, Ste. 200 (

Authenticity Gallery - 910 Congress Ave # 100 (

Blue Moon Glassworks - 108 W 43rd St (

Botanica Oggun - 2101 South 1st Ste G (

Capra & Cavelli - 509 East Fifth Street, 3500 Jefferson Street, Suite 110 (

Creatures Boutique - 1206 S Congress Ave (

Crystal Works - 908 W 12th St, #A

Downstairs Apparel - 2110 South Lamar Blvd. Suite E (

Emeralds - 624 N. Lamar Blvd (

The Gas Pipe - 701 E 5th St (

Herb Bar - 200 W. Mary

hovercraft! - 1115 S Congress

IF+D - 208 Colorado (

Images of Austin - 4612 Burnet Road (

Lucky Lizard - 412 East 6th Street (

Mexic-Arte - 419 Congress Ave (

O.Henry Museum - 409 E 5th St (

The Oasis Gift Shop - 6550 Comanche Trl (

Old Town Gift Emporium - 200 Center St. Kyle (

Ozone Bikes - 3202 Guadalupe St # C (

Parts and Labour - 1117 S Congress Ave (

Peoples Pharmacy - 3801 South Lamar

Prima Dora - 1912 S Congress Ave (

The Pure Water Stop - 7101 W Highway 71

Sanctuary - 3663 Bee Caves Rd (

Secret Oktober - 1905-B South 1st (

Sol Reflections - 107 Ranch Road 620 (

AT&T Executive Conference Center - 1900 University Avenue (

State Capitol Gift Shop - 112 East 11th Street (

Storyville - 2001A Guadalupe Street (

Strait Music Company - 2428 W Ben White Blvd, 13945 N Highway 183 # B1 (

Sunset Valley Farmer's Market - 3200 Jones Rd (

Suzi Ds - 900 SFM 620

Terra Toys - 2438 W Anderson Ln (

Texas State History Museum - 1800 N. Congress Ave (

Thai Fresh - 909 W Mary St (

Things She Adores - 2306 E. Cesar Chavez, Suite 101 (

Urban Moto - 600 S. Lamar Blvd (

USA Baby - 4477 S. Lamar Blvd (

Vespa - 1623 S Lamar Blvd (

Wanderland - 3419 North Lamar (

Waterloo Records - 600 N Lamar Blvd (

Wee - 417 1/2 W 2nd St (

Whole Earth Provision Co. - 1014 N Lamar Blvd (

Whole Foods Market - 525 N Lamar Blvd (

This article was published in the December 2009 issue of INsite Magazine

1209INsite11.jpg Sean Claes ( is a freelance entertainment writer in Central Texas.

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Notes From The Cubicle is the home of Sean Claes' humor column. Sean is also known as Bif.
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